Opposition view: Clough 'picked the wrong team' against Cobblers, but felt Stags should have had a penalty

'I haven't seen one like that be overruled for a long, long time and I don't think it's clear enough for the linesman to overrule the referee.'

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 6:56 pm
Nigel Clough.

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough took responsibility for 'picking the wrong team' after his side's 'bitterly disappointing' performance and defeat to Northampton on Saturday.

The Stags, without a win in 12, are now outside the relegation zone on goal difference only after a toothless display at Sixfields, with Fraser Horsfall and Aaron McGowan the men on target for the Cobblers.

"Just about everything went wrong to be honest, certainly the performance and our endeavour to score a goal at any time in the game was bitterly disappointing," admitted Clough.

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"We played with two strikers up front and had the odd skirmish in their penalty area but nothing sustained.

"It was a gamble to move Oli Hawkins back up front from centre-half in order to try and get a goal but it certainly didn't work because we didn't look like scoring for large parts of the game despite playing 4-4-2 with attacking players.

"I'll take responsibility for that because I probably picked the wrong formation and wrong team in trying to be positive.

"I should have stuck three in the middle of the midfield with a bit more pace out wide but we had such a good week's training working on a 4-4-2 after finishing well last Saturday.

"We hoped to take it into today's game but it didn't work out like that."

Mansfield were awarded a late penalty after a foul by Ali Koiki, but referee Robert Lewis changed his decision to a free-kick after consulting his linesman.

"We didn't do enough to score but we should have had a penalty," Clough added.

"I haven't seen one like that be overruled for a long, long time and I don't think it's clear enough for the linesman to overrule the referee.

"Their player didn't receive yellow card for an earlier tackle and also didn't get a yellow card for a foul on the edge of the box and yet we seemed to be littered with yellow cards."